Friday, December 25, 2015

The First Christmas!!

My beautiful Starflower,
You are such a wonderful gift to me!!
The only thing under that tree that I really care about.
Happy first Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A 16 Year Miracle

Note: I am competely re-writing this post because lots of the feedback I received from friends and family proved to me that I had not conveyed the message I was trying to convey as I contemplated my feelings the other day. I was simply wanting to celebrate the progress we have made from a very troubled marriage in  2007-2008 to how much happier we are now and offer encouragement to all who may be struggling because we are a testimony  that it really can get better.

 So here is another attempt:

This Christmas Day is 16 years since we became engaged so this time of year always makes me ponder on our time together. Although I never ever in my wildest dreams could have imagined how hard our life together would be, I am still so thankful that both of us have always remained commmited to be "in this for the long haul."  In the midst of one of my deepest bouts with depression I remember my thoughts turning toward divorce (which  I had always promised myself I would never consider) and pleading for answers as I listened to April 2007 General Conference.  Elder Oak's talk, "Divorce" was the answer to my prayers by once again filling my mind and heart with the conviction to stay 100% committed to my marriage no matter what.

The next year, things became even harder and many told us we were justified if we chose to separate, but the words of that talk, and the conviction they had inspired in me, stayed as a sustaining force and I refused to give up.  We were always given just enough help, in just the right ways and just enough strength to make it one more day at a time.  There is no way that is a perfect string of coincidences; it is evidence that our life together is a miracle.

Now, eight years later, I still cannot say our 
challenges have lessened much.  But as I look at the blessings we have received, including two more beautiful daughters,  I shudder whenever I think of where my life would be right now if I had decided to divorce back then. . .probably living in a broken home as a single mother with one teenage daughter, both of us missing out on the eternal family we are now privileged to be a part of. I can now see that even with all our mistakes, we are living the miracle of a good marriage.

Has your marriage been as happy as you hoped it would be?  Has the joy been worth all the pain? Or maybe you are still waiting have the chance to marry? What gives you strength in your trials?

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

"A good marriage does not require a perfect man or a perfect woman. It only requires a man and a woman committed to strive together toward perfection."  Elder Oaks

Monday, December 14, 2015

Exploring Avocado

She is sure having fun. . .

I am too. Today I tried using avocados to  make healthy chocolate ice cream
(Paleo, dairy free, sweetened only with maple syrup, and I even substituted carob powder instead of cocoa)
It tastes good as us right from the blender as a mousse, but I can't wait until it freezes.  See

Perfect family home evening dessert.

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Friday, December 11, 2015

Afternoon Surprise

Lady Slipper,

As I sat rocking your little sister, Starflower, to sleep, I noticed the ducky blanket spread out so nicely on your bed.  You must have done that this morning while you were getting ready for school.  Thank you for such a nice surprise! I am thinking of you and wishing you a wonderful day at school.



Monday, November 30, 2015

Real Life So Soon

Back to real life so soon. . . Good thing they are cute!! And thank goodness for bath time  breaks for mommy!!

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Bath Time

Yea, I can actually clean the bathroom and have no interruptions of little cuties needing Mom "right now"

They have been in there playing for quite a while and still getting along and happy :)!!

It's the little things.  . .

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Thursday, November 12, 2015

How I woke up this morning to VeggieTales

"Vegetables don't have eyes. This is fiction."I love you Savannah!!

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Friday, November 6, 2015

Healthy pumpkin cookies

There is a great recipe for flourless pumpkin cookies I made today.  I used honey instead of the coconut sugar and then a little less oil. I didn't add any mix in chocolate chips.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Smoothie Fingerpainting

She sure loves to share my fruit smoothie and especially when I mix it with baby cereal and she paints her tray.  I constantly remind myself that the messes are worth cleaning up. After all, serving "the least if these" especially includes my own little sweetheart.

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


We were all set. . . Playing outside, fresh air. . . Suddenly the sprinklers came on again.  We thought we were safe.  But that didn't stop the play!

Oh well, I guess I can handle the clean up.

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Friday, August 7, 2015

I'm Trying to be Like Jesus too
I have loved this song since I was really little.

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Friday, July 24, 2015

Mother Steals Daughter's Ben and Jerry's


I must make restitution for my sin of finishing your "half baked" ice cream which I really had given to you as a thank you for all your babysitting yesterday.  It was  a temptation I entered into in the early hours of the morning.  Ready to go get some more with me?

Your ice cream addicted mother

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Stretchy Swing

Yea!! At OT we finally found a swing that Savannah likes!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What Animal Likes Rice?

Lady Slipper wants to know. . . I don't have any idea, I answer. . .

"Maybe we should look it up on you tube?" She exclaims

Be Inspired,

Janelle Joy

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!!

Thanks to all who have been mom to my girls and to me!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

May Family Study Plan

Posting these notes on the door in the kitchen really helps me to remember what discussion questions I want to use during family meals.

Be Inspired,

Janelle Joy

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Postpartum Psychosis

Wow.  Postpartum psychosis is real and can be so scary.  I spent several days in the hospital and now continue to work toward recovery at home.  I am thankful that in my psychosis, I never wanted to harm myself or my beautiful starflower or anyone else. Studying about the condition has enlightened me to understand that fact is a huge blessing in itself.

I continue to feel scared.  But I also remember that no matter what I suffer, all of it us worth it in order to have my beautiful baby.  And my personal testimony of Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ and His plan for me can keep me going through anything.

I will not give up!!

Be Inspired,

Janelle Joy

The Battle Within Subsides

I often feel a battle within myself. I am thankful for every brief moment when that battle subsides and I catch a glimpse of who I really am and the reason why the battle is worth it.

Be Inspired,

Janelle Joy

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Thank You Hilary Weeks!!!

I am making it through with your help!!

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Monday, April 6, 2015


I loved conference! Every talk was incredible and the music was spectacular!!Of course I especially  loved the talk about music.

After the last session on Sunday, I watched the special about Handel and the creation of Messiah.  One part which really applied to me and my goal to listen was the fact that Handel knew the importance of silence as well as beautiful music.

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Friday, April 3, 2015

April Fools Day

Growing up my parents, especially my mom, really made April Fool's Day into a big deal and we always woke up to lots of jokes and funny surprises. I haven't done that as much in my own little family.  Well this year, Morning Glory made her Nana proud of her by bringing back the tradition with several little tricks including: water spraying out from a taped up kitchen faucet, finding shoes taped together when I was getting ready for work, and Lady Slipper couldn't use the computer mouse when she tried to do her homework because it had been sabotaged.  We got her back and she found  posters and other things on the walls in her bedroom turned upside down when she came home from school.

MG, thanks for bringing the fun back to the family this year!  I am still smiling about it!!

Be Inspired,
Janelle Joy

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February 2015 Mini-mission: Pray to Listen

I want to listen with more unselfishness.  I know prayer is the first step to help me toward that goal.

Be Inspired,

Janelle Joy

Monday, February 9, 2015

2015 Goal: Listen with Love

It has taken some pondering to decide on my simple goal for this year.  Finally, it came to me as I studied the Sunday School lesson (Marriage and Family Relations Participant's Guide lesson 15). The importance of listening to my children stood out in the lesson and I began to think of many ways I want to listen better.

Be Inspired,

Janelle Joy


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